Create the Life You Want to Live
What do you want?
To create your dream life, you first need to define what it is that you want. Focus, attention, and detail are key to making your dreams a reality. Let’s ask a few questions to get the creative juices flowing.
Many of us can relate to Allie Hamilton in this clip of the Notebook. She can’t listen to her heart because she’s focused on what everyone else wants. We think that “It’s not that simple,” but it really is that simple. Simple doesn’t mean easy. Knowing what we want and then taking the necessary steps to achieve our heart’s desires can be scary. But if we recognize that we are loved, and the Universe supports us in our deepest desires, there really is nothing to fear. Because we are where we are, perhaps we don’t consider where we could be. So we don’t make an effort, or we feel like we’re too busy, or it’s too late in life to make a change. In reality, it’s never too late. We have so much love and support available to us. The first step to accessing our help is getting in the right mindset.
Clear your mind
Step one to clearing your mind is taking a deep breath in. Release all expectation and judgment. We are going to a little thought exercise. Just for a moment, forget what everyone else wants or needs. Think back to when you were a kid in awe of the world, and the notion that anything is possible was the norm. Before the authority in your life told you that what you wanted was dumb, wrong, impossible, laughed at you, made you feel guilty or bad. Use your imagination; there are no limits, no restrictions. What did you daydream about? Remember to use your imagination; allow your mind to wander freely.
Now, imagine that you have the freedom and capability to do anything in the world. Anything at all! It could be training to be an astronaut, a fashion designer, a singer, a surfer, a doctor, an architect, a photographer, a graphic designer, a teacher, a philanthropist, a parent. Whatever it is, whatever comes to mind, just let it be. Don’t judge it or shrug it off.
Maybe a profession doesn’t come to mind. Maybe a beautiful view of the mountains, the ocean, a forest or trying new cuisines from cities worldwide. Whatever it is, embrace it, look at it with joy and say thank you. That is your dream.
what makes you happy?
This is the first question to ask yourself. Make a list, big to small or small to big items. Allow flow-of-consciousness to let it all pour out. This is your mental dump. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar; just let your words flow. Trust the process. The answer can range from huge life goals to small everyday occurrences such as making six figures, paying off college loans, closing the big deal at work, landing the promotion, buying a house, taking a vacation, traveling, trying new restaurants, cooking, drinking wine, spending time with your kids, spouse, friends, exercising, drinking good coffee, checking items off of your to-do list, reading, getting in your comfortable bed at night. List everything and anything that comes to mind. Don’t hold back.
what really matters to you?
Is it career, money, health and wellness, family? Is career the most important piece of the pie of your life? Do you spend more time at work than anyone else to climb the corporate ladder? Does your personal life take a backseat to your career? Do you feel guilty about not being able to do it all? This may sound like the same question up top, but there is a difference. For example, say a person’s reputation is crucial to them. Hence, they do things, attend events, and spend time with people they don’t necessarily want to spend time with or attend, but they feel obligated. Their life is filled with things, people, events that they don’t really care about or wish they didn’t have to do, but they do it becasue it’s expected of them instead of living life the way they choose.
You have the answers that you are looking for deep within. Everything that you want you already have. Everything you want to be, you already are. It's just a matter of mindset and taking action. Do the next right thing.
what is your life like?
How is your life going? Do you like where you are? Do you like who you are? Are you satisfied with your accomplishments and circumstances? Do you have regrets? Do you feel stuck? Do you wish you were someone else? Do you have dreams that you do nothing about? Do you fantasize about traveling the world, buying a certain car, getting ripped, having a family? Take inventory of your life. Where are you satisfied? Where are you lacking? What could use some work? What do you want to accomplish? You can break it down into categories: Personal, Professional, Health, Finances, which can further be broken down into subcategories.
In your personal life, do you have healthy relationships? Friends, family, a love life. Are you engaged in your relationships? Do you have a good support system? Are you part of a community, whether it be a church, religious affiliation, spiritual group, or a volunteer group?
Professionally are you happy? Does your work satisfy you? Not every aspect of your work is likely to be fulfilling but overall, would you choose the same profession? Are you learning, growing, maturing, developing?
How’s your health? How’s your diet? Do you eat a balanced diet, allow yourself to enjoy food, eating the process and the ritual. Do you cook? Are your hormones in balance? Are you active? Do you walk, spend time in nature, do yoga, meditate. Boosting physical health carries over into mental and emotional health. How do you deal with stress? Are you creative? Do you take the time to express your creativity?
Finances can be related to the profession, but it deserves its own category. How’s your spending? How’s your saving? Do you have a block when it comes to receiving financial abundance? Do you feel you’re unworthy, or perhaps you have to “work hard” to earn your money? Are you a workaholic spending every waking moment focused on building your financial net worth? Are the other areas of your life neglected? Is it a struggle? Do you not have enough to pay your bills, feed yourself and your family? These are the hard questions to ask. It’s important to know where you started so that you can see how much progress you’ve made when you look back. Don’t overthink this. Write what comes to mind. Complete the entire exercise before going back to take a look. This is your starting line.
life inventory exercise
Start where you are. Take stock of your current life. This is your starting point. Taking the time to put it down on paper helps to make it real. This offers clarity on choosing to do the next best thing.
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what is my life purpose?
Ahhh, the million-dollar question. The question that humanity has been asking since the beginning of time. Why am I here? Why are we here? Considering all of the roles you play in life, wife, partner, mother, daughter, friend, sister, employee, employer, provider, philanthropist, and deeper meaning behind it all? We want to know that our time on earth has meaning, that it wasn’t all for nothing. The fact that you are alive and here on earth means that your life has purpose. You can choose which other purpose or purposes you want to experience. To simplify, everyone has the same purpose and a different purpose simultaneously. First, everyone’s shared purpose is to be their genuine self. Be who you are at heart. Do what sets your soul on fire. No one knows what that is except for you. This means that no one can do the work for you either. If you truly want to know what satisfies your soul, you have to spend time with your higher self. Learn to listen to “the whispers of your soul,” as Rebecca Campbell says. It takes practice and learning to trust yourself. There are all sorts of ways to do this, which is what we will discuss here so that you can start the process of living your life purpose. You can decide who you are and what you are meant to do with this life. The possibilities are endless.
Do you want to know a secret? You have more than one life purpose. You’re not limited to a single cause. Hopefully, this provides you a little relief. You can’t get the answer wrong. You get to choose which purpose you want to focus on or make a priority. Every day we get to make this choice. If you’re a mom, that is a huge life purpose. To be the life source, provider, example, friend, nurturer, teacher, shoulder for your child. I would venture to say that this is one of your most important life purposes. Embracing being a mother, how it shapes you, molds you, matures you, tests you, challenges you, develops you. Children are mirrors. They reflect who we are directly back into our faces. If you have a life partner, this is another significant life purpose as a parent and a partner. Learning to live life with another human is not an easy task. It takes continuous effort to grow together. If you’re still not sure, don’t worry. By the end of this, you should have a better idea of what you want in your life and how to bring it to fruition.
what's the number one regret of the dying?
Before we continue with our exercise, please consider the number one regret of the dying. They regretted that they didn’t live Life the way they wanted. They weren’t true to themselves. They were who they thought that they were supposed to be rather than who they were at heart. Imagine if everyone on earth was their best version of themselves. And no one judged anyone else for being who they were. We were accepting and loving and celebrated each unique individual. That’s one way to world peace. There is a lot of anger in men’s and women’s hearts because it’s not safe for them to be who they are at their core. They can’t love who they want to love. They can’t pursue the career that they are drawn to. They can’t express their true thoughts and feelings for the dread of being rejected by their local community. So they play the part that is expected of them.
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back to reality
Now it’s time to come back to reality or your current reality. What did you imagine? What was your answer? Find some paper, a journal, or the notes on your phone, and write your dream down. If you want to take it a step further, find pictures or images of what you want either online or in magazines if you want to go “old school.”
Then make your request. Now that you know what it is, you want to ask the Universe for this exact thing. You can speak your request out loud, or you can write it down, or you can do both. I like to write, putting it out, thereby creating a physical record of non-material thoughts..
By making a mental image of the life you want, the goal or the desire with love, happiness, excitement, and gratitude, knowing that it’s on its way to you, it’s like Christmas when you’re a kid. You know that Christmas is coming, you’re so excited. You don’t know exactly how it’s going to play out, but you know it’s going to be fantastic and memorable. The closer we get to Christmas, the more it’s on our minds. Think about your request regularly as if it’s already happening.
Additionally, we already know that thoughts lead to action. The more you think about your desired outcome, the more likely you will make it a reality. Think in baby steps. What can you do today to start propelling you towards this heart’s desire?
Use this free journal
Put it in writing if you like to journal. Make a list in your notes on your phone or a pen and paper. I’m a fan of pen and paper over technology because I feel like the mind and body process this method differently. But when I don’t have access to a pen and paper, then the smartphone or laptop it is. Here’s a journal that you can use if you want to keep track of your responses. More prompts help you dig deep and find what it wants, need, and crave in your life. It’s fun to keep these so that sometime in the future, you can look back to see how far you’ve come.
- What are you passionate about?
- If you only had 6 months to live, what would you do with your time?
- What do all of your answers have in common?
- What were some of your favorite activities as a kid?
- What do you find yourself doing instead of what you’re supposed to be doing?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
life purpose journal
Discover your life purpose, or purposes in this life. Decide what you want & create the life you want to live. Take some time to answer a few questions to help uncover your passions & life purpose!
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trust the process
Step one is finding the dream. You don’t have to have the entire dream. Just the idea of the dream is more than enough. It may take weeks to months or even years for it to happen! Being grateful for knowing what you want and what makes you happy is a great first step. Maybe you spend a year researching schools or places to visit. Be as specific as you can on what you want with what you have. If you have a family, how do you incorporate them into your dream?
Ask the Universe for help and guidance. Then listen for the answer. The biggest results come to form small steps taken consistently. Most of the time, your world isn’t going to be turned upside down once you make your request. The odds are not much will change. This is where you come in. Taking baby steps in the direction that you want to go. It allows you to make progress. It’s like when you’re on a long journey, and you don’t realize how far you’ve come until you turn around to look back.
Your mind has to process the information as well. It has to relearn to function without the negative self-talk and feedback loop—awareness of our thoughts, moods, mindset, and beliefs matters. Once we recognize them, then we can make a change. Eliminate that thought, say I’m not listening to you. Replace it with the actions you’re taking, and the Universe’s trust is doing the hard work for you.
Again it’s a process, it’s a mental shift, and it makes Life fun! Look at this as an exciting project or experiment. The more you think about it and incorporate it into your life, the more it will develop.
Remember that we don’t have to “try hard.” When I say not to “try hard,” it’s not that you don’t do anything. The difference is that you don’t have to force action. Let life flow. Relinquish control. This is easier said than done. It can take repeated reminders to self, just like establishing a new habit. At first, it’s hard, but with practice and time, it comes more naturally.
One of my favorite mantras is, “It’s hard until it’s easy.” I used this mostly for working out when I wasn’t performing at the level that I anticipated. This mantra can be applied to many life situations. We live, and we learn. Typically we learn from our mistakes, not our successes. We find out first hand what we don’t want, which is just as important as knowing what we do want. It’s all part of the equation.
We can learn from our successes. We have to be willing to do something out of our comfort zone. For example, when I was in high school, I applied for a retail store job, and I was intensely shy. I told my mom that to succeed at this job; I was required to walk up to strangers, say hello, ask if I could be of any assistance. This terrified me! She gave me some of the best advice that I still use to this day. She told me to pretend that I was the most confident person in the world. Pretend that I could do all of the things required of me. I remember thinking, I can do that! It’s not really me, so it doesn’t matter. I’ll act like I’m super confident and love talking to people. Pretending took away all of the fear. It didn’t matter if I messed up because it was just a show; I was acting. It didn’t really matter.
Funnily enough, what ended up happening is that I adopted the character I was playing. I ended up going into sales a few years down the road. Now I love chatting with people, learning about them, building relationships, and helping make their lives better. I still have that shy girl hidden deep inside that peeks her head up now and then, but I remember to play the part. It’s a form of fake it till you make it. There is wisdom in that advice.
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” -His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Where Do I Start?
Do you have a growing laundry list of items that you want to do but you’re unsure where to start? Start with where you are, with who you are. Each person can make a difference in the world with what they have. One method is to choose one to focus on for 12 weeks. It doesn’t matter what you choose. It can be minuscule or gigantic. It’s completely up to you. The point is to decide, make a choice, and take action. To have quick success and gain momentum, choosing a small item to do is the way to go.
It can be something as simple as dancing. If dancing without refrain is something that makes your heart sing, then do it right now. Take 5 minutes, or 1 minute and just let loose like no one is watching. Let me tell you; there is something so freeing about expressing yourself through movement. It’s healing, rejuvenating, and it’s a straightforward way to accomplish your goals and stake steps toward becoming the person you were born to be. Letting go of the fear and just being your pure self.
Now, if you want to choose a bigger item, create a plan. Start with the end in mind. It’s amazing what one can accomplish with a focus in three months. This is the amount of time that people train for a fitness competition, learn a language, save money, play an instrument. Transformation can happen. One step at a time.
These were my before and after pics when I decided to compete in a bikini fitness competition a few years ago. It was a bucket list item. I cut out alcohol, ate extremely clean, drank so much water, worked out, and did additional cardio for 12 weeks. Look how much can change in just a few short weeks. The proof is in the pudding. The fun part is that you get to choose what you want to make happen.
still not sure what stirs your soul?
A good friend in college once said to me, “If you ask yourself the question, and are completely honest with yourself, deep down, you know the answer.” I was confiding in her that I was confused about how to respond to a situation. I was torn between my true feelings and reacting in a way that I was supposed to or what I thought was expected of me. It was a brief conversation, but her words have stuck with me for almost twenty years. This was my first lesson in learning to trust myself. And this is how you will find your life purpose by trusting yourself. When answering the questions below, don’t judge yourself or your responses. Trust the answers that come to you. If you can make time for ten minutes, get ready to be moved. This is the answer to your question.
You are important
Ever find yourself wondering, “Do I matter?” or “what’s the point of it all?” I am here to tell you that yes, you matter very much because you are the only you in this world. That simple truth is valuable. You are important, and your existence impacts others whether or not you’re aware. A simple smile at a stranger, especially in these social distancing days, can have exponential effects.
It’s easy to see why we think that we, as individuals, are separate from one another in everyday life. Physics tells a different story. Everything affects everything else. Spending time with your kids, spouse, friends, trying new restaurants, good coffee, getting in your comfortable bed at night, checking items off of your to-do list, reading, exercising. Some of us struggle with this inner voice that says, “It doesn’t matter anyway, none of this matter, nothing in the world matters.” Either it all matters, or none of it matters. The beauty of it all is that we don’t really know, but we do get to choose how we live our life.
When searching for your purpose in life, you don’t have to limit it to one. You can be a mother, a father, a sibling, a powerful executive, a yogi, a foodie, help those in need, build clean water wells, save the elephants, a doctor, a lawyer, an astronaut, a friend, a youtube star, a movie producer, an architect. Your mind only limits you. It can feel like we are somehow a failure if we don’t live out that specific life. We are so hard on ourselves. This is not the way. Please do not fret about living up to anyone else’s expectations or our perceived expectations of ourselves. By living in the now and being the best version of yourself according to your own heart, you live your truest and highest life purpose. You do you.